Pettigrew State Park

Quick Facts

Pettigrew State Park

North Carolina

(252) 797-4475

Map Directions

Things To Do


With more than 1,300 acres of land around Lake Phelps and more than 3,000 acres along the Scuppernong River, with an additional 16,600 acres of water, Pettigrew State Park is an ideal blend of nature, history and recreation.

Explore Lake Phelps and examine dugout canoes as ancient as the pyramids. Or cast your line into crystal-clear waters where largemouth bass reign. Take a trip back in time at the grave of a great Confederate general. Or hug a tree as wide as an elephant. Paddle down one of North Carolina's last undeveloped rivers.

Pettigrew exhibits its history among picturesque natural surroundings. Majestic cypress trees tower above as the branches of tulip poplar and swamp chestnut oak provide perches for songbirds. Wildflowers decorate the landscape with a splash of color.

Map of Pettigrew (NC)

Latitude, Longitude: 35.791840, -76.423872



  • Boating

    Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and power vessels have ample room to enjoy Lake Phelps. The lake offers ideal conditions for sailing in shallow draft boats. Launch a canoe from Cypress Point or use the launching and docking facilities behind the park office. Two N.C. Wildlife boat ramps provide access to the Scuppernong River. Canoe trails on Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River offer paddlers the chance to view the area's environment up close.

  • Bicycling

    Enjoy biking through the beautiful scenery along the way to Somerset Place State Historic Site. Bikers can travel through the park to all of the points of interest and the many scenic overlooks.

  • Camping

    The family campground is located between the park office and Somerset Place. Thirteen campsites, each with a picnic table and grill, are well-suited for tents and trailers. Opportunities for outdoor learning abound in the group camping area. Located in the midst of a beautiful forest, primitive camping facilities include tent pads, grills and toilets. Water is located nearby.

  • Fishing

    Lake Phelps is known throughout the state for its bass fishing. The lake teems with largemouth bass, yellow perch and pumpkinseed. Enjoy the challenges of pickerel and catfish as the Algonquians did 10,000 years ago.

    From land, try your luck on the fishing pier, boardwalk, or the overlooks at Cypress Point. Wade fishermen can enter Lake Phelps at the Pocosin Overlook. Excellent fishing spots can also be found along the banks of the Scuppernong River, in addition to all of the ponds in the park. Anglers must have a fishing license and obey regulations of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

  • Hiking

    Beginning at the park office, a one-mile section of the Bee Tree Trail winds past the campground and Somerset Place. After wandering through a sweetgum forest, the trail leads to Bee Tree Overlook, a wooden platform offering a view of the lake and a place to observe wintering waterfowl. Between the site of Bonarva and the canal is a short trail leading to Pettigrew Family Cemetery.

    Moccasin Trail leads northwest from the park office for approximately three miles to Moccasin Canal. After traveling through a cypress and hardwood forest, the trail stops at a 350-foot boardwalk, which cuts through a cypress swamp to Moccasin Overlook. This view of Big Point is one of the most impressive vistas in the area. Morotoc Trail continues from the overlook to Cypress Point.

    The Pocosin Natural Area has a short trail to an observation tower and carnivorous plant management area. See the park map for distance and difficulty.

  • Historic Sites

    Civil War buffs will find the grave of one of the Confederacy's great generals, James Johnston Pettigrew, a mile east of Somerset off the old carriage road. Gen. Pettigrew, for whom the park is named, and his family left an indelible mark upon the history of the state. General Pettigrew led the North Carolina troops' famous charge up Cemetery Ridge to the South's "high water mark" at the Battle of Gettysburg.

  • Picnicking

    A large cypress grove supplies plenty of shade for picnicking. Tables and grills are provided with each picnic site, and restrooms and water are located nearby. The grassy field near the picnic grounds creates a great playground for all ages. Individual picnic sites are available on a first-come basis.

  • RVing

    Thirteen campsites, each with a picnic table and grill, are well-suited for tents and trailers.

  • Water Sports

    Enjoy boating and fishing.



Pettigrew State Park is located in Washington and Tyrrell counties, seven miles south of Creswell off US 64. From US 64, take exit 558 to Creswell. Turn left at Main Street and go two miles (the road becomes Spruill's Bridge Road). Turn right on Thirty Foot Canal Road for five miles. Turn left on Lake Shore Road and the park office is on the right.

Phone Numbers


(252) 797-4475